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Fruit and vegetable consumption produces changes in several biomarkers in blood. The present study aimed to examine the dose–response curve between fruit and vegetable consumption and carotenoid (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin), folate and vitamin C concentrations. Furthermore, a prediction model of fruit and vegetable intake based on these biomarkers and subject characteristics (i.e. age, sex, BMI and smoking status) was established. Data from twelve diet-controlled intervention studies were obtained to develop a prediction model for fruit and vegetable intake (including and excluding fruit and vegetable juices). The study population in the present individual participant data meta-analysis consisted of 526 men and women. Carotenoid, folate and vitamin C concentrations showed a positive relationship with fruit and vegetable intake. Measures of performance for the prediction model were calculated using cross-validation. For the prediction model of fruit, vegetable and juice intake, the root mean squared error (RMSE) was 258·0 g, the correlation between observed and predicted intake was 0·78 and the mean difference between observed and predicted intake was − 1·7 g (limits of agreement: − 466·3, 462·8 g). For the prediction of fruit and vegetable intake (excluding juices), the RMSE was 201·1 g, the correlation was 0·65 and the mean bias was 2·4 g (limits of agreement: − 368·2, 373·0 g). The prediction models which include the biomarkers and subject characteristics may be used to estimate average intake at the group level and to investigate the ranking of individuals with regard to their intake of fruit and vegetables when validating questionnaires that measure intake.
Reduction in the current high levels of meat and dairy consumption may contribute to environmental as well as human health. Since meat is a major source of Fe, effects on Fe intake need to be evaluated, especially in groups vulnerable to negative Fe status. In the present study we evaluated the effects of replacing meat and dairy foods with plant-based products on environmental sustainability (land requirement) and health (SFA and Fe intakes) in women.
Data on land requirements were derived from existing calculation methods. Food composition data were derived from the Dutch Food Composition Table 2006. Data were linked to the food consumption of young Dutch women. Land requirements and nutrient intakes were evaluated at baseline and in two scenarios in which 30 % (Scenario_30 %) or 100 % (Scenario_100 %) of the dairy and meat consumption was randomly replaced by the same amount of plant-based dairy- and meat-replacing foods.
Three hundred and ninety-eight young Dutch females.
Replacement of meat and dairy by plant-based foods benefited the environment by decreasing land use. The intake of SFA decreased considerably compared with the baseline situation. On average, total Fe intake increased by 2·5 mg/d, although most of the Fe intake was from a less bioavailable source.
Replacement of meat and dairy foods by plant-based foods reduced land use for consumption and SFA intake of young Dutch females and did not compromise total Fe intake.
Health logos are introduced to distinguish foods with ‘healthier’ nutrient composition from regular foods. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of changed food compositions according to health logo criteria on the intake of saturated fat, sugar and sodium in a Dutch population of young adults.
Foods in the Dutch food composition table were evaluated against nutrient criteria for logo eligibility. Three replacement scenarios were compared with the nutrient intake ‘as measured’ in the Dutch consumption survey. The foods not complying with health logo criteria were replaced either by ‘virtual’ foods exactly complying with the health logo criteria, with real 2007 market shares (scenario I) and 100 % market shares (scenario II), or by existing similar foods with a composition that already complied with the health logo criteria (scenario III).
The percentage reduction in nutrient intake with the current 2007 market shares of ‘health logo foods’ was −2·5 % for SFA, 0 % for sodium and −1 % for sugar. With a 100 % market share these reductions would be −10 % for SFA, −4 % for sodium and −6 % for sugar. This may lead to a reduction of −40 % for SFA, −23 % for sodium and −36 % for sugar in the most optimal replacement scenario.
With ‘health logo foods’, available in 2007 and current consumption patterns, small reductions can be achieved for SFA and sugar. For additional reductions, lowering the fat/sodium content of meat (products) towards health logo criteria and drinks without sugar towards limits far below health logo criteria would be the most effective reformulation strategy.
Previous European guidance for environmental risk assessment of genetically
modified plants emphasized the concepts of statistical power but provided no
explicit requirements for the provision of statistical power analyses.
Similarly, whilst the need for good experimental designs was stressed, no
minimum guidelines were set for replication or sample sizes. Furthermore,
although substantial equivalence was stressed as central to risk assessment,
no means of quantification of this concept was given. This paper suggests
several ways in which existing guidance might be revised to address these
problems. One approach explored is the `bioequivalence' test, which has the
advantage that the error of most concern to the consumer may be set
relatively easily. Also, since the burden of proof is placed on the
experimenter, the test promotes high-quality, well-replicated experiments
with sufficient statistical power.
Other recommendations cover the specification of effect sizes, the choice of
appropriate comparators, the use of positive controls, meta-analyses,
multivariate analysis and diversity indices. Specific guidance is suggested
for experimental designs of field trials and their statistical analyses. A
checklist for experimental design is proposed to accompany all environmental
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